This takes place right after Elliot gives Quentin the button at the end of The Magician King:
Quentin limply took the button from Elliot. It was not over. No. It couldn’t end like this. Quentin felt the rage boiling inside of him. He felt the pressure building, pushing against something. He felt it giving away, and he allowed it. Suddenly he was filled with power. Incredible power. Everything he had endured, all he had learned. It all came boiling to the surface and Quentin screamed, “NO!”
Then he hit Ember right between His fucking horns, and Ember flew back and hit the wall with a satisfying smack. “You think you can just use me and throw me away? Alice gave her life for this stupid world. We stopped the beast for You, and this is how You repay me?”
Quentin turned to the man and Eleanor, still stupidly sitting in their chairs. “You not only prevented me from going to the other world, you took away my crown, took Fillory away from me, and all over a stupid fucking passport! On top of that you were going to prevent Julia from joining her tree? Why? What fucking purpose would that have served?” He felt the energy erupt through him, through the ground through the chairs and the people sitting on them. A giant gout of white-hot flame enveloped them, and then they were gone. It even burned away the sound of their screams. Nothing escaped.
Quentin felt himself growing bigger. As Ember shook Himself off and stood up he said, “All the people that have died for You and Your fucking world.” Quentin’s voice was growing deeper, “Everyone that has died while you” Quentin gestured to the scorch marks on the ground, “and they sat around and did nothing. We all suffered for You, and this is how You choose to repay us?”
The injustice of it was unbelievable. Ember started running towards him. Quentin stood there and waited. Just when He was about the hit him in the chest. Quentin grabbed His horns, spun around and threw Him against the wall. He hit with a sickening crunch. The force of it cause the bricks to crack and buckle. One of Ember’s horns had broken off in his hand. “You stupid fucking sheep!”
Quentin looked towards his former friends. He felt something hot and wet running down his cheeks. “You betrayed me. You used me and betrayed me. You knew what was going to happen. Everyone else gets to stay here. But I get nothing. Fuck you.” He was met with stunned silence.
Quentin turned away and walked for the still partially open door to the new world. Below him was a world waiting to be born. “Maybe I will be the God of this new world. I would certainly do a better job than Him.” The former magician king pointed at the still form of Ember, laying limply against the wall. Poppy started to say something, but he didn’t hear it. At the edge of world Quentin paused a moment, then jumped down. The door closed behind him.
Quentin had finally received His reward.
I was so pissed off at what happened to Quentin at the end of The Magician King that I resolved to write an ending I thought was much more satisfying. I do realize that all through the series I have been wishing Quentin would just grow up, and the way the book is written it seems he has. It seems he needs to endure still more shit in his life to finally emerge a true king, if not in title, then in spirit and attitude. In short, the way the book is written, the way Quentin handles everything, is the last step towards his “growing up.”
Also Quentin chose this path, back on the hill, earlier in the book when he last met Ember. He said he wanted to be a hero, and now he is. But in Lev Grossman’s world a hero is someone who is always getting the short end of the sick, always doing the right thing for little or no reward. I am not sure what a hero really is, but if hero is just a sucker given a title that makes him or her feel better, then I would rather be a villain.
Besides who says even God or gods get to make the rules? Even if they do, does that mean we just obey them unquestioningly and never fight them? No, I don’t think so. If I don’t like the rules you better bet your ass I am going to challenge them! I will look for the loophole, and if I fail to find it, as a last resort, I will find a way to destroy them!
So maybe Quentin will be better for all the shit he has gone through. But I don’t like it. Not at all.
I might have more to say on this later.